During their summer breaks from school, kids with reactive attachment disorder quickly wear out their parents with controlling and disturbing behaviors—all day, every day. Just like the rest of the year, your child requires constant supervision. But in the summer time, that responsibility is all yours.
For you, typical summer camps and other organized activities aren’t an option. The program staff isn’t equipped to handle a child with reactive attachment disorder. Kids with attachment disorder wear out summer camp staff quickly. They also come home and expect their parents to constantly entertain them like the camp staff does. That’s because these kids don’t handle indulgence well and feel entitled (similar to reactive attachment disorder kids during the holidays)
That’s the bad news.
But here’s what you can do to make summer break a little easier for your whole family:
1) Create structured activities to keep your child busy. Denise and Dyan gave some great tips to keep your child with attachment disorder busy this summer earlier this week on our blog.
2) Enroll your child in work camps to build skills and boost self-esteem. Colorado Front Range counties usually have summer work camps for kids to clear trails and build outdoor facilities. Unlike typical summer camps, your child won’t feel entitled to constant entertainment and will stay busy. Most programs require early spring applications. Perhaps you can find a program in your area that still accepts applicants.
3) If you want to take a family vacation, only take short trips with quick access back home. A child with attachment disorder can quickly ruin the fun for everyone on long trips.
4) Take a break for yourself through informal respite care with other parents. If you’re outside of Colorado, you can start a group in your area. If you’re in the Denver area, contact us to take part in a parent support group. Other parents in your situation will understand your child and have the capacity to care for him or her briefly—long enough to give you a chance to rest a bit. And then you can return the favor for other parents.
When we learn together, we can work together to advocate for children and families struggling with reactive attachment disorder!
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